Itse Sagay Presents Autobiography-“ALL WILL BE WELL”

Itse Sagay (SAN)

Legal Luminary, Itse Sagay is set to present his autobiography to the public.

Titled, “ALL WILL BE WELL”, it is going to be presented at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Victoria Island ,Lagos, at an event to be graced by the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola and his counterpart in transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi.

Sagay, who is the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) is presenting the book amidst speculation that it is a message of hope to Nigerians in the face of myriads of issues confronting the nation.

Ahead of the event, Sagay issued a statement countering the submission of the United states of America in its 2021 Annual Report on corruption in Nigeria.

Describing the USA report as product of media sensationalism, he said the document failed to acknowledge the enormous work being done to contain corruption in Nigeria, which had led to prosecution of some high profile personalities found culpable.

Sagay specifically discredited the USA report for obviously failing to recognise the “huge efforts of the EFCC and ICPC but held that the duo are ignoring high profile looters.

He said, “The fight against corruption in Nigeria:so far,so good”, also condemned the fact that the USA did not recognize the many safeguards now available like IPPIS, BVN, TSA and others including whistleblowing policy that have helped to “remarkably” reduce corruption in Nigeria.

“The Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) has reviewed the Annual Report of the USA on Corruption in Nigeria regarding the year 2021. The Report is not a reflection of the reality on the ground. Clearly, the Report relied on perception, media sensationalism, political storyline and secondary data. The Report failed in number of respects.

“Firstly, the Report acknowledges the huge efforts of the EFCC and ICPC but held that the duo are ignoring high profile looters. The Report fails to note that it is these internet fraud boys and their ilk that mature into local and international oligarchs. So, nipping it in the bud should be a plus not a minus. In any case are Abba Kyari, Hushpuppi, Mompa, the Ex-Registrar of JAMB, Senior civil servants whose illegal properties have been seized, former National Assembly members like Faruq Lawan actually in jail, former Bank PHB Executive, former Governors, Deziani Alison Madueke former Minister of Petroleum Resources etc not high profile? Moreover, all the recovered assets from outside, Nigeria now about 1 billion dollars belonged to high profile looters.

” It is counter intuitive to suggest that lower and middle class looters should be ignored since high profile looters are not arrested!

“Secondly, the Report fails to acknowledge that today, there are many safeguards like IPPIS, BVN, TSA, Transparency Portal, Whistleblowing Policy, better Banking regulations, assets declaration, etc that have remarkably reduced corruption in Nigeria. These interventions by this government and its Agencies have drastically reduced corruption in this country.

“Thirdly, the Report ignored the excellent work done by the EFCC and ICPC in the area of arrests, prosecutions, convictions, Assets Recovery, fraud prevention, public sensitization, etc. Today Constituency projects are tracked, Budget padding is gone; bribe for budget approval is no more, fuel subsidy scam has been eliminated, sleaze in NDDC is halted, P&ID, OPL 245 Scams are under control and numerous forfeited assets are being auctioned, etc and the proceeds plowed into the highly successful, social investment programme.

“Fourthly, the American Report, unlike the ones by CDD, UNODC and Afrobarometer, suffers from a methodological flaw. This is because sources of data for the Report, apart from perception and sensational media reports, are unknown and largely unreliable. If the Reporters truly knew about massive corruption, what stopped them from being our good friends, by confiding in Nigeria to enable us halt it within and outside the country?

“Fifthly and finally, while fighting corruption by this Government is a top priority, its successful execution under civilian rule poses a challenge. While all our Anti-Corruption Agencies are doing their best without executive interference, the Judiciary and the NASS need to partner with the Executive more vigorously. Additionally State Governors and LGAs have to show more commitment to the fight against corruption to make it inclusive, comprehensive and total.

“Clearly, if parents, religious leaders, schools and the international community cooperate with the Government and the Anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria, corruption can be reduced drastically. Currently, while a lot of success has been recorded, more can be achieved in the fight against corruption if there is coordination, collaboration and cooperation by all stakeholders”.

“We need to remind a forgetful world that the peak in Nigeria’s fight against corruption was attained on two occasions; December 1983 – August 1985 and May 2015 till date. There is one common factor between these two periods: Mohammed Buhari was Military Head of State in the first interval and Civilian President in the second. It is not a co-incidence.

“Finally we most strongly commend all our Anti-Corruption Agencies and urge them to keep their eyes on the ball, especially because implicitly, the US Report acknowledges progress being made as the anti-corruption net is being expanded and the fight against Corruption is now extremely invigorated”.

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